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Seahawks overcome key injuries to defeat Cardinals

Jimmy Graham hauled in a pair of touchdown passes to lead the Seattle Seahawks to a 22-16 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 10. Here's what we learned on Thursday night:

  1. The Seahawks overcame shaky pass protection, a dysfunctional ground attack and an ongoing rash of penalties to salvage a costly victory that left a handful of key players licking their wounds. Left tackle Duane Brown (ankle), running back C.J. Prosise (ankle), defensive tackle Jarran Reed (hamstring), defensive end Frank Clark (thigh), safety Kam Chancellor (stinger) and linebacker Michael Wilhoite (calf) each failed to return after getting dinged. The injury that has the Seattle faithful most upset, though, is the one to Richard Sherman. The All-Pro cornerback immediately reached for his ankle area after colliding with wide receiver John Brown late in the third quarter. He didn't return to the game, and coach Pete Carroll told reporters the cornerback suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon. He is done for the season.
  1. The Seahawks' 6-3 record leaves them in pole position for their annual playoff run. While their talent, experience, coaching acumen and collective pride should not be discounted, the obstacles are mounting. They have yet to fix the offensive line issues or identify a tailback capable of sustaining a consistent ground attack. They continue to shoot themselves in the foot, racking up more penalties than any other team this season. The latest concern is a depleted defense that is used to shouldering a heavy load to compensate for the unreliable offense. As if that litany of challenges isn't enough, the remaining schedule offers few breaks, featuring clashes with playoff contenders such as the Falcons, Eagles, Jaguars, Rams and Cowboys.
  1. For all of the pregame chatter of a second consecutive 30-carry outburst for Adrian Peterson, the future Hall of Famer was held to just 29 yards on 21 rushes against a Seattle front that dominated in the trenches. Honest analysis can't place the blame on Peterson, who has flashed explosive burst, mid-career jump cuts, breakaway speed and the power to break arm tackles when he's not immediately swarmed at the line of scrimmage. While Peterson has sailed past the century mark in two of four games with Arizona, all other Cardinals backs have managed just 243 yards on 96 attempts for a feeble yards-per-carry mark of 2.53 behind one of the least-efficient run-blocking units in the league.
  1. Speaking of future Hall of Famers, Larry Fitzgerald took advantage of the Cardinals' pass-heavy comeback attempt, corralling 10 passes for 113 yards. The 10-time Pro Bowler became the first wide receiver in NFL history to record at least 150 career catches against three different franchises (Seahawks, Rams and 49ers). What's more, he's now the second-youngest player to reach the 15,000-yard milestone. On pace for his third consecutive 100-catch season, Fitzgerald currently leads the league with 60 receptions.
  1. Falling below .500 with an accuracy-challenged backup quarterback under center, the Cardinals are facing long odds to reach the postseason. Having already watched franchise leader Carson Palmer, All-Pro running back David Johnson, Pro Bowl guard Mike Iupati and leading 2016 sacker Markus Golden go down in previous months, Arizona is in danger of losing left tackle D.J. Humphries and safety Tyvon Branch to season-ending knee injuries. After the game, coach Bruce Arians acknowledged both players are candidates for injured reserve. Humphries had been the team's most effective offensive lineman while Branch was authoring an impressive bounce-back campaign after missing the bulk of the 2016 season.
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